Numbers behind the Nuts’ playoff victory

Hickory manager Mike Wilson has compiled some additional statistics they help tell the tale of the Nuts’ seven-game first-round playoff win over the higher-seeded Bushwood Gophers.

Bushwood

BOO:   Starting Pitchers  31.2 IP, 41 hits,  28 runs, 26 earned 7.39 ERA
YEA:    Bullpen  30.1 IP, 21 hits,    5 runs,  3 earned 0.90 ERA  (WOW–Dave should have gone to his bullpen after 3 runs immediately!)

BOO:  Thome, Hart, Pujols and Utley hit a combined 17 for 101 for .168 BA and 8 RBIs
YEA:   Rolen, Hammy and Delmon Young went 26 for 78, .333 and 16 RBIs

Hickory

BOO:  Wainwright 0-2 5.65 ERA; Casilla and Clippard 5.1 IPs, 7 earned runs, 5 HRs 
YEA:  Hernandez 25 IPs, 24 hits, 12 runs, 8 earned, 2.88 ERA

BOO:  Mora, Jackson, Pedroia, Headley: 10 for 73 for .137 BA. 2 errors
YEA:   Suzuki, Tabata, Huff, Werth:  32 for 86 for .372 BA 14 runs scored and 12 RBIs

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What’s your MVPQ? Wisconsin, Springfield have gobs of it

Let’s throw another barometer out there for measuring the anticipated competitiveness of clubs in the 2012 I-75 Strat League.

Let’s take the two recently concluded MVP votes and apply them to players currently on I-75 League rosters to determine everyone’s MVP quotient. What do we learn?

Wisconsin and Springfield are stacked.

The Warhawks boast Ryan Braun, NL MVP, who collected 388 points in voting, as well as 229 for Prince Fielder, third in the NL. Four more Warhawks earned votes: Roy Halladay (52) and Carlos Beltran (3) in the NL, and Robinson Cano (112) and Paul Konerko (11) in the AL. That’s a total of 795 votes.

Springfield came up just short of that at 788 votes, but it had eight players represented, one more than Wisconsin, and that doesn’t count Mark Teixeira, who got five votes but was let loose in the expansion draft. Springfield’s cause is led by AL MVP Justin Verlander (280) and NL runner-up Matt Kemp (332).  But then there is seemingly the rest of the Isotopes’ protected list too: Michael Young (96), Clayton Kershaw (29), Ian Kinsler (25), Shane Victorino,  James Shields (7) and Carlos Ruiz (1).

Applegate ranks third at 498, with a 2-4 finish in the AL for Jacoby Ellsbury (242) and Curtis Granderson (215) and NL points from Jose Reyes (31) and Hunter Pence (10).

Here’s how the rest of the league ranks:

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Meet the new managers: John Renbarger

John Renbarger, manager of the expansion Iowa Swirling Cyclones, was born one month after the I-75 League celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Still a student at Iowa State, where he is majoring in chemical engineering, John displaces Dan Wilson as the youngest manager in the league, but in so doing becomes the second second-generation manager in the league.

The fanatacism that his father, Mike, showed in Strat began to rub off on John in his teen-age years, and so while John is a managerial newbie, the terminology and gameplay are things he has lived with all of his life.

Read John’s complete managerial profile here.

Meet the new managers: Ken Crawford

Ken Crawford has dubbed his team the Michigan Moneyballers, but does he subscribe to the Moneyball principles?

That remains to be seen, but the Ohio native did earn a living as a financial consultant before semi-retiring in 2011 to spend more time learning how to play Strat.  You will recall that he shared managerial duties with John Renbarger at the helm of the orphaned Detroit Demolition Dogs.

A childhood pal of Dave Renbarger’s from their time together at both North Farmington High School and the University of Michigan, Ken has been subjected to second-hand Strat via that relationship for more than 30 years. An avid follower of the Detroit Tigers and major league baseball, Ken hopes the enjoyment of that crosses over into Strat-O-Matic. He even vows to replace his Commodore 64 with a real computer in time for next season and to have Netplay and Hamachi humming on all cylinders by March.

Read Ken’s complete profile here.

One draft down, one mock draft to go

Forecasting the first round of the 2012 draft is especially challenging, and not just because a whopping 19 players will be chosen. For one thing, we don’t know which expansion teams will be slotted in which order. And, having not conducted the waiver draft yet, we don’t know what their specific needs will be.

However, we can guess that they are more likely to go for young prospects than veteran players to try to win in 2012, so that is one of our premises as we walk out on the ledge with this month’s version of our Mock Draft. Note that the order below is unofficial. Our last attempt at the mock draft rankings is here.

1. Michael Pineda, SP, Seattle (expansion team A). Previous Rank: 2. Pineda or Mike Trout remains a tossup, but when in doubt, pitching is more precious than offense, and Pineda is not only a prized prospect at age 22, he has one of the best, if not the best, available starting pitcher cards. Pineda struck out 173 in 171 innings and had a 1.10 WHIP.

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And now, the leftovers: Clubs grab what they can

The pickings were decidely slimmer in the third and final round of the I-75 League Expansion Draft, perhaps best illustrated by the selection of .159-hitting Adam Dunn.

Apart from the selections of two decent starting pitchers and Florida Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez, the picks were primarily guys who’ve seen better times or hope to in the future.

Here’s the Round Three recap:
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Finally! 2011 season is semi-officially complete

The Superior Titans and Wisconsin Warhawks are the division champs of the I-75 League for 2011 and have earned first-round byes for the playoffs.

Wisconsin defeated Margaritaville 5-4 in a one-game playoff to settle first place in the Southbound Division. Earlier, Applegate beat Savannah in a one-game playoff 4-3 to determine the third-place finisher.

Wisconsin had finished one game ahead of Margaritaville in the standings, but was ordered to forfeit one game for having started Roy Halladay eight games in the month of September, including three times on insufficient rest.

So, pending further review of final stats for any other rule violations or player abuse that could lead to additional action, the playoffs shape up this way:

Southbound Division
(3) Applegate vs. (2) Margaritaville
Winner plays (1) Wisconsin

Northbound Division
(3) Hickory vs. (2) Bushwood
Winner plays (1) Superior

Division champions meet in the 2011 World Series.